In the novel, The Giver by Lois Lowry, the author makes it clear through the main character Jonas that freedom and safety need to find an equal balance. Lowry shows the importance of deep emotions and family through Jonas. Jonas becomes the new receiver of memory and learns about the past. He also learned about the way it was when people knew what love was. Jonas’ father releases newborn children because they don’t weight the correct amount of weight or they don’t sleep well through the night. Release is a nice way of saying kill; the people of the community don’t know what kill means. They don’t have the freedom to expand their vocabulary. Lois Lowry makes it clear that safety has a negative side and you need that you need freedom to have a high functioning community.
Love and other deep emotions are not worth giving up for safety. Jonas’ own mother doesn’t love him, she doesn’t know what love means. “Do you love me… So meaningless that it has become almost obsolete” (pg127). Jonas refused to live where your parents don’t know what the meaning of love is. So he left. He took a stand. Jonas found out that his father was going to kill his stepbrother, Gabe and he was furious. His father doesn’t even know what the word kill means. His father honestly thought he was helping Gabe by releasing him, just because he didn’t sleep soundly through the night. If he knew the emotions of love, empathy and hope he might have known that release is a bad thing. But they chose to not have feelings because they were afraid of heartbreaks,
the feeling of loss, hate and envy. As Alfred, Lord Tennyson said, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”. He states that love is worth the pain that the feeling of lost can bring. But people in The Giver community thought that safety and sameness was more important so they chose to go to sameness. “Our people made that choice, to go to sameness… we gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others”(pg95). I want to be able to feel deep emotions and know what love feels like so does Jonas that’s why he left the distopia. Lowry shows how emotions are powerful through Jonas.
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